Airports in the Sultanate of Oman have registered a significant increase in inbound and outbound passenger numbers, which have increased by more than 160% by the end of January 2023 compared with the same reporting period in 2022.
According to a 2 April report by the state-run Oman News Agency, Muscat International Airport, as well as Salalah and Sohar airports, recorded 7,525 flights in January 2023, compared to 2,893 flights in 2022.
The initial statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) showed that the number of arrivals through the airports of Oman increased by 94% and the number of departures by 115% when comparing the two reporting periods.
The total number of arriving, departing, and transit passengers through the airports of Muscat, Salalah, Sohar, and Duqm was registered in excess of 1.16 million. Through Muscat International Airport alone, more than one million international and domestic passengers were registered.
By contrast, passenger traffic at Salalah in the southern Dhofar Governorate increased by 43.1% to just over 105,000, while Sohar Airport, northeast of Muscat, had 24 flights and 2,380 passengers. Elsewhere, Duqm Airport reported 52 domestic inbound and outbounds flights, carrying 6,067 passengers.
Oman investment in airports
The Sultanate of Oman has invested significantly in its aviation infrastructure in recent years, opening up a modernised multi-billion-dollar airport in Muscat in 2018, in a bid to increased passenger traffic and develop the capital as an alternative transit hub to established sites elsewhere in the Gulf region.
The new airport was also intended to service the burgeoning tourism industry as the country attempts to diversify away from oil and gas, in much the same was as the UAE has shifted the balance of its own economy.